Colombian Prez condemns killing of 8 people

Colombian President Ivan Duque has condemned the killing of eight young people who were gunned down by a group of armed assailants in western Narino department.

“We condemn the massacre of eight people in Samaniego, Narino. As of early this morning, police and a military commander have been at the site, and I have ordered generals Eduardo Zapateiro (military) and Jorge Vargas (police) to deploy to the zone,” Xinhua news agency quoted Duque as saying in a tweet on Sunday.

“We will arrive at the bottom of this and capture the authors of this crime,” he added.

Local authorities suspect the killings arose from a turf war between rival drug-trafficking gangs.

According to Samaniego Mayor Oscar Pantoja, armed men on motorcycles arrived at the scene on Saturday night and indiscriminately opened fire on a group of young people who were hanging out outside a residence.

“We are saddened and concerned by the crime that is taking place,” he said.

Another five people were injured in the shooting.

Colombian officials acknowledged the region is roiled by territorial disputes over control of drug-trafficking routes, but said the clashes are between National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas and members of a smaller armed rebel group called the Cuyes, who use drug trade to fund their movements.